Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film (ca. 1929)

An experimental color short in Brewster Color, preserved by George Eastman House and presented on the More Treasures DVD set.


Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2007)—Francis Ford's When Lincoln Paid (1913), a "lost" two-reeler discovered in a New Hampshire barn; The Daughter of Dawn (1920) a western filmed in Oklahoma with a Native American cast; and the musical That Man of Mine (1947) with Ruby Dee and the all-girl International Sweethearts of Rhythm are among the 57 films to be saved through grants announced today by the National Film Preservation Foundation. These awards will enable 27 libraries, museums, and archives to save American films that are unlikely to survive without public support.

"Francis Ford, John Ford's older brother and teacher, directed and starred in dozens of films before World War I; virtually none survive," said Tag Gallagher, author of John Ford: The Man and His Films. "Francis Ford was fascinated by Abraham Lincoln and played the president in at least seven pictures. The preservation of When Lincoln Paid not only resurrects the work of one of America's early film pioneers but also a major interpreter of the Lincoln story."

Other historically and culturally significant works singled out for preservation include films made by a Rochester housewife for Kodak in the early 1920s to test the prototype for 16mm amateur film; the 1937 Yiddish-language musical Der Purimspiler (The Jester); films of the Alvin Ailey dancers; a 1940 town portrait of Erwin, Tennessee commissioned by a local theater owner; Old Faithful Speaks (ca. 1934); Francis Thompson and Alexander Hammid's To the Fair! celebrating the 1964 New York World's Fair; Depression-era films of Appalachia's Pine Mountain Settlement School; and independent works by Jordan Belson, Caroline Leaf, Stuart Sherman, and Leslie Thornton.

Two awards will fund the 35mm reconstructions of two legendary American silent features. Lois Weber's Shoes (1916), a feature-length exposé of the plight of underpaid shop girls, now exists only as a butchered short with added sound; it will be reconstructed with English-language intertitles from materials found at archives abroad and the Library of Congress. To restore Edward Curtis's In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), filmed in British Columbia with a native cast, preservationists will work with a 16mm variant preserved by the Field Museum and an incomplete 35mm tinted nitrate film at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Scholars will advise on both collaborations.

The grant recipients are:

  • American Jewish Historical Society (NY)
  • Appalshop (KY)
  • Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (IL)
  • Artist Tribe Foundation (CA)
  • Austin History Center (TX)
  • Bridgeport Public Library (CT)
  • Center for Visual Music (CA)
  • Children's Hospital Boston (MA)
  • George Eastman House (NY)
  • Harvard Film Archive (MA)
  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Keene State College (NH)
  • Library of Congress (DC)
  • Museum of Modern Art (NY)
  • National Center for Jewish Film (MA)
  • New York Public Library, Jerome Robbins Dance Division (NY)
  • New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division (NY)
  • New York University (NY)
  • Northeast Historic Film (ME)
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (OK)
  • Pacific Film Archive (CA)
  • Pine Mountain Settlement School (KY)
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (RI)
  • Tennessee Archive of the Moving Image and Sound (TN)
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive (CA)
  • University of Maryland (MD)
  • University of Montana (MT)
  • University of Wyoming (WY)

Funded through The National Film Preservation Foundation Act, the NFPF's federal grants enable archives to make new preservation masters and access copies of historically and culturally significant American films that are not owned by commercial interests. With the spring 2007 awards, the NFPF has helped save 1,100 films at institutions across 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress in 1996 to help save America's film heritage. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. For a full list of funded projects, please visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org.

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